I thought South Africa was a little better than I expected them to be and Mexico was downright lazy. Neither team has a striker capable of finishing; Mexico in particular was plagued by the dread Midfielder’s Disease. There must have been five or six occasions when a Mexican player passed up the opportunity to make a shot in search of the perfect opening, the defense closed, and the ball was lost without ever a shot being fired. A good result for South Africa and a poor one for Mexico. Based on the talent difference and Mexican control of the ball, it should have been 2-0 or 3-1.
Although Nicola Anelka had one great season for Arsenal about 12 years ago, I have long considered him to be a downright negative. France would have been better playing with 10 players than starting him up front. I’ve never seen a player at the International level ignore more passing opportunities in favor of trying to beat three defenders at once. He’s a physical specimen, fast and strong, and still less than worthless on the pitch. Once the ball went to Anelka, it was as good as turned over to Uruguay. Given the red card, it was a great result for Uruguay and disastrous for France. Even England after Rooney’s injury last time around looked more capable of scoring than this French team.